Cairn begins shooting 3D at RJ-ON-90/1

Vol 7, PW 8 (02 Jul 03) Exploration & Production

WORK CONTINUES uninterrupted at Cairn Energy's Rajasthan desert exploration block RJ-ON-90/1.

We learn that Cairn recently completed shooting 1,200-km 2D seismic over the block and has begun shooting 150-sq km 3D seismic. As with its other exploration acreage in India, Cairn has already completed the minimum work programme on this block and is now in the final 'Phase-III'.

On 3rd June, Cairn informed the London Stock Exchange that it had "completed drilling Saraswati-3, the second appraisal well on the Saraswati oil discovery onshore Rajasthan. The well reached a total depth of 1,640- metres and was drilled 5-km north west of Saraswati-2 in order to appraise a separate fault compartment." Cairn added: "Petrophysical evaluation has indicated the presence of hydrocarbons in Saraswati-3 and the well has been temporarily suspended." Cairn said the drilling rig has been moved to exploration prospect D, which is located approximately 33-km south east of Saraswati-3.

Why was drilling suspended Because Cairn felt the need to bring in a workover rig. "We have just one rig on the block.

We need more rigs because we believe we'll need to drill a large number of wells on this block." A work-over rig has been called for and was scheduled to reach location towards the end of June. Once the rig is in position, Cairn will carry out a testing programme for both Saraswati-2 and Saraswati-3.

'Phase-III' ends in June 2005 and the minimum work programme obliges Cairn to drill two exploration wells during this phase. "Both wells have already been drilled and based on the interpretation of the 2D and 3D seismic data we will decide locations for more exploratory wells.

We have expectations of a commercial discovery on this block, but it is still early days." Cairn has 100% interest in Block RJ-ON-90/1, which was originally awarded to Shell in 1995. ONGC has a right to 30% of any development area resulting from a commercial discovery on the block.

Cairn has struck oil at Guda, Saraswati and Rageshwari fields.